Movie review: One joke of 'Bad Grandpa' can't hold up for 90 minutes

Published October 25, 2013 11:49 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Johnny Knoxville tries something different — staying in character — in the latest "Jackass"-related movie, "Bad Grandpa," a hidden-camera comedy that emphasizes stranger discomfort over physical stunts.

Knoxville dons old-age makeup to play Irving Zisman, a recent widower in Nebraska who is tasked with taking his roly-poly 8-year-old grandson, Billy (Jackson Nicoll, from "Fun Size"), to his deadbeat dad in North Carolina. The ensuing road trip gives Knoxville the opportunity to shock random passers-by with Irving's public drunkenness, lewd talk to women, disgusting bodily functions and self-inflicted injuries.

There are laughs in watching the discomfort of innocents who witness Irving wreck a funeral, cut into a male strip show, crash a wedding, confront an anti-child-abuse motorcycle club and (in a final scene lifted from "Little Miss Sunshine") enter Billy in a child beauty pageant in drag.

But sustaining a plot is a new experience to director Jeff Tremaine and the "Jackass" crew, and their attempt to stretch what amounts to a cruder-than-usual "Saturday Night Live" sketch to 90 minutes starts to drag.

movies@sltrib.com; http://www.sltrib.com/entertainment


'Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa'

Opens Friday, Oct. 25, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong crude and sexual content throughout, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use; 93 minutes.



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